- Associated Press - Saturday, March 26, 2016

OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) - The Latest on the Washington state Democratic caucuses (all times local):

3:30 p.m.

Bernie Sanders has won Washington’s Democratic presidential caucuses after tens of thousands of people met at schools, libraries and community centers across the state.

There are 118 delegates at stake in Washington, with 101 to ultimately be awarded proportionally based on the results of Saturday’s caucuses. The remaining 17 are technically unpledged party and elected leaders, though a majority of them - including Gov. Jay Inslee and the state’s Congressional delegation - have already said they support frontrunner Hillary Clinton.

Sanders was winning by large margins across the state.

Both candidates spent time in Washington this past week, with Clinton and her husband, former President Bill Clinton, making several stops and Sanders packing huge rallies in Seattle and elsewhere.

Sanders, a senator from Vermont, had raised $2.6 million in Washington state, while Clinton has raised about $2 million


2:50 p.m.

Sen. Bernie Sanders holds a lead in early returns in the Washington Democratic Party’s presidential caucuses.

With about 20 percent of precincts reporting, Sanders led with about 76 percent of the vote. Hillary Clinton had about 23 percent.

Full results were expected later Saturday afternoon.


11:27 a.m.

Seven precincts gathered at Roosevelt Elementary School in the northeast neighborhood of Olympia for Washington’s Democratic presidential caucuses, where the crowd of several hundred people grew so large they had to move some people from the cafeteria into the gymnasium.

Morgan MacInnis, 27, arrived early to cast his vote for Bernie Sanders in his first caucus.

He said he didn’t participate in the 2008 caucuses because he didn’t feel like there was much of a distinction between now-President Barack Obama and then-candidate Hillary Clinton. He says this year is different.

Lisa Harper, a 29-year-old communications associate for Gov. Jay Inslee, was working as a precinct committee officer. One of the few Clinton supporters seen at the location, Harper was proudly wearing a “Washingtonians for Hillary” t-shirt.

Harper says Clinton would be “a role model” for woman across the world.


10:54 a.m.

A huge line of caucus attendees snaked around the parking lot of Ferris High School on Spokane’s South Hill.

Hundreds of people started gathering well before the doors opened at 9:30 a.m. Saturday, and most of the crowd appeared to be supporters of Bernie Sanders. Spokane is Washington’s second-largest city.

Jennifer Slaughter, 25, of Spokane, is a flute player for the Spokane Symphony Orchestra and came to caucus for Bernie Sanders. She says he will “take big money out of the political process.”

Dan McLay, 64, of Spokane, is retired and attended the caucus in a hard-hat, which he joked he needed because he was one of the relatively few Hillary Clinton supporters in the big crowd.

He has long been a supporter of Clinton, including in her run against Barack Obama in 2008. McLay says we need an “experienced leader.”


10:45 a.m.

In Seattle, a steady stream of caucus goers found their way to Garfield High School in the city’s Central District neighborhood where they were greeted mostly by Bernie Sanders organizers as well as City Councilwoman Kshama Sawant.

Sawant, a socialist, backs Sanders.

Preston Anderson, 36, showed up for Sanders. Anderson, who now works at the Veterans Affairs Hospital in Seattle, was deployed to Iraq as a sergeant in the Army. He says Clinton and other hawkish politicians rushed into the war in Iraq.

Anderson spent 11 months in Iraq and said Sanders is clear with his desire to have fewer wars.

Sarah Blazevic, 19, was home on Easter break from Gonzaga University and caucused for Sanders, partially because of his stance on making college free.

She says “I know so many people who worked so hard and did so much in high school and didn’t get to go to college just because they couldn’t afford it or they didn’t get all the same privileges I was born with…I did get to go to college so that’s my big thing.”

Blazevic, who attended Garfield, added she would vote for the Democratic nominee in the general election either way.


8:25 a.m.

Party officials say more than 150,000 people have preregistered for Washington state’s Democratic caucuses as of Saturday morning.

Party spokesman Jamal Raad also says that about 35,000 people voted in advance due to conflicts with work schedules, religious observances, illnesses, disabilities or military service.

The party had a record 250,000 people turn out for the caucuses in 2008, when President Barack Obama beat Hillary Clinton. Clinton faces Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders in the 2016 caucuses. Results are expected Saturday afternoon.


7:55 a.m.

Results from the Washington state Democratic caucuses are expected sometime Saturday afternoon.

Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders are vying to be their party’s presidential nominee. There are about 7,000 precincts statewide for the caucuses and each location - ranging from schools to churches to community centers - will have anywhere from five to 20 precincts at their site.

Caucuses start at 10 a.m. and usually take no longer than two hours. After the precincts gather and a captain is selected, the first tally of support is counted and announced. Caucus goers are then able to try and convince undecided voters or to sway others to their candidate of choice before a second tally is counted. The results of that second tally are used to allot delegates to each candidate, and each group of caucus goers choose the delegates to move on to the county and legislative district caucuses.

Washington has 118 delegates at stake, with 101 that will ultimately be awarded proportionally based on the results of Saturday’s caucuses.


7:01 a.m.

Democrats in Washington state are set to caucus in support of either Hillary Clinton or Bernie Sanders as their party’s presidential nominee.

Washington has 118 delegates at stake, with 101 that will ultimately be awarded proportionally based on the results of Saturday’s caucuses. The remaining 17 are technically unpledged party and elected leaders, though a majority of them - including Gov. Jay Inslee and the state’s congressional delegation - have already said they support the front-runner Clinton.

Saturday’s gatherings will elect 27,170 delegates, proportionally allocated to each candidate. Those delegates will move on to the county and legislative district caucuses before being winnowed down at the congressional district caucuses and the state convention. Ultimately 101 delegates will be selected to go to the national convention.

Both candidates held rallies in the state the past week.

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